History. The word has different meanings to different people. To some, it may mean to learn from it so that we do not repeat it. To others, it could mean something from our past that we enjoyed and respect. But does ARVORE Immersive Experiences presentation of the homage of the history of gaming right on point and should you allow your inner 8-bit to come out and play? The fun short answer is…
yes, it does…go now and experience all that is Pixel Ripped 1989 for the PlayStation VR.
But let’s get into the real question here that everyone wants to know…What is Pixel Ripped 1989 about? You play as Nicola, a young second-grade girl who is very passionate about gaming (yes we all can relate to the passion for gaming). Nicola has one of the best handhelds around called the GEAR KID. But you see this is not a typical game played in a typical world. On the GEAR KID is where you are playing the game within a game of Pixel Ripped 1989 (it will all make sense I promise) by controlling the lead adventurer in-game character named Dot.
Dot has been happy in her world. But in Dot’s world, there is a great evil villain named the Cyblin Lord who wants to destroy Dot’s world. You see, the Cyblin Lord is able to do the unthinkable, breaking out of the video game world to invade the real world. This is where you come in. So playing as Nicola it will be your job to control and help Dot save your world and also the game within the game to help save Dot’s world.
I really love how everything is in 8-bit and you get a real nostalgia feel of your room with all the posters on the wall to even the DualShock 4 controller is replicated in 8-bit. Beautiful job ARVORE Immersive Experiences…beautiful job.
The way Nicola is able to control Dot within the game on the GAME KID is true greatness here. Just as a handheld back in the ’80s, you have very simple controls. Run, jump, fire all work very well here. When controlling Dot, you will notice little pixels that you will want to collect. Doing so improves upon Dot’s look, making her better suited for battles as well as her firepower. Everything that you would want and hope for on a handheld platformer adventure is present. From spike traps to enemies firing to even the jump and bouncing mechanics to even having an enemy hit you and make you appear as a block are all played out perfectly.
One of the many things I appreciate is when you are controlling Dot, if you happen to lose a life, you are able to start at the beginning of the checkpoint. So no matter how many times it may seem, do not get frustrated and just keep trying. I want to talk about Nicola for a moment. At the beginning before even getting to see Nicola, you will see that she is the top player and that is why she was chosen. However, there is a downside to the hope of Dot. Nicola is in school and while you are controlling Dot, you also have to make sure you do not get caught by the teacher and instead you have to help distract the teacher.
So what would be the one thing that would be the perfect distraction for being in second grade? You grab your spitball launcher and shoot spitballs. Yes, that is correct spitballs. Since you are busy trying to play your GEAR KID, which means your hands are occupied, ARVORE Immersive Experiences has you covered. All you must do is simply look at the spitball launcher and look at a target and it will fire automatically. You will know what the targets are simply by looking for something sparkly. Yes, you can hit the other students, but that is not fun. I will say and maybe hit the trash can to see if that does anything interesting.
Every level of Pixel Ripped 1989 is very well thought out. Not at any time did I feel like I had to do the same thing over and over, but I felt like it was a refresh of the past while at times seeing new ways to play. Pay attention when you are playing the handheld and pressing the buttons on the DualShock 4 controller to see your fingers on the handheld act accordingly. It’s the small details like these that really add to your Virtual Reality experience.
There is only one way that Pixel Ripped 1989 could have been brought to life and that is with Virtual Reality. The visuals are really good here and this is for not only the immersion Virtual Reality does bring (so it is important to have the best visual experience as possible) and also you have to be able to see and be able to play on the handheld. Also, I want to applaud the Developer for the boss battles. The way they are brought to life in Nicola’s world that has this 3D type of experience is really done.
The sounds…the music is pretty good here. From the 8-bit sounds to the boss battle music to the music of the time period to even having the other kids admire you while you are playing. It is really nice to have that peer positivity even if it is from second graders. There is one thing that does happen a little and that is the need to recenter. It doesn’t happen too often and it is not a deal-breaker in any way. I mean that is why we have the options button for when we need to recenter, but this may be more of a patch update here.
Pixel Ripped 1989 does what it sets out to do, to pay homage to the gaming past and tries not to repeat but takes the memories and enjoyment of gaming and giving that homage the respect it deserves.
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In case you missed the trailer, please enjoy. Until next time, I have to get back into Pixel Ripped 1989.